Minimal Monday: Pickled Red Onions


Here’s a simple pickling project to add to your repertoire.  Pickled onions are not only beautiful, they’re  a workhorse when it comes to jazzing up tons of different kinds of foods.  You can’t make a great fish taco without them, but they can also go on sandwiches, burgers and hotdogs, salads, cheese boards…pretty much anywhere you’d use sliced onions.  And like most pickles they’re almost calorie free, so they are a great way to add interest and flavor to food if you’re watching your weight.


It’s a fun chemistry experiment to watch the purple onions turn bright pink the minute they hit the acidic vinegar.


I used a few extra spices like multicolored peppercorns, yellow mustard seeds, and cumin seeds.  And just one sliced jalapeno pepper makes the whole jar pretty hot.  But you can do this without any spices at all if you want to.   The vinegar, salt and sugar make a wonderful simple pickle.

Pickled Red Onions


  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp multicolor peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • i jalapeno or Serrano pepper, sliced, seeds and all


  1. Peel and thinly slice the onions. I used my mandoline slicer for this as it does a nice, even job.
  2. Put the vinegar, water, and all the spices in a small pan and bring up to a simmer. Take off the heat, and add the onions and hot pepper. Mix well.
  3. Place the onions in a mason jar and pour the liquid over them. Make sure the liquid covers the onions. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate.
  4. Will keep in the refrigerator for a month.



  • Reply
    October 27, 2017 at 9:52 am

    I’m so obsessed with pickled onions. The flavor is so great! It cuts the super spicy bite out of raw onions and makes them tender and incredibly flavorful! I love that you added heat to the pickle as well with the peppers. Thanks so much for sharing! Can’t wait to try making these at home!

    • Reply
      October 27, 2017 at 10:09 am

      I love to add a little bit of heat whenever I can…enjoy Billy!

  • Reply
    June 7, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Can you use pickling spice instead of the spices listed?

    • Reply
      June 7, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Yes, go for it!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    A quick question though… can these actually be canned? (boiled 10 minutes?!)


    • Reply
      September 11, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      I’m not sure but I think these can be canned, Steph. I would consult a canning site or book first, though, to be sure.

  • Reply
    Pickled Red Onions | Southern Girl Eats Clean
    September 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    […] I changed Sue’s recipe up a bit…..Some ingredients are the same and some are different.  Click here to see Sue’s recipe for Pickled Red Onions. […]

  • Reply
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    […] Pickled Red Onions from The View from Great Island […]

  • Reply
    August 6, 2013 at 5:58 am

    My favorite restaurant makes a killer Greek salad with pickled onions and ever since I tried it, I’ve been wanting to pickle onions. I’m SO happy I saw this post – I’m definitely following your how-to!!

    • Reply
      August 6, 2013 at 7:37 am

      They weren’t really on my radar until I had them on some great fish tacos and now I’m trying to find new ways to use them. A Greek salad sounds perfect, I bet they’d complement the feta cheese really well.

      • Reply
        October 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm

        They should be great on corn torillas quesadillas.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2013 at 4:31 am

    I’m going out to get canning jars right now . . . or at least when the store opens. Great idea.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Pickled onions are the perfect condiment!! I love that you added in a jalapeno to really spice things up.

  • Reply
    Abbe@This is How I Cook
    August 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Gorgeous, Sue. I only recently discovered how easy these were to make. And that saves me a trip to the Mexican market where I used to buy them. You are right. They are fabulous in so many dishes!

  • Reply
    Alisa Rhinehart
    August 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Great post! I’ll be making these this weekend! :) Thanks!

  • Reply
    Denise @ magnoliaverandah
    August 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Love pickled onions and have been on the look out for some little onions to pickle but using red onions would be a great alternative. They look so pretty in pink too.

  • Reply
    August 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    We enjoy pickled onions..seems that’s all I am doing these days..preserving..
    But I have never added Jalapenos..Bonne idée!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Ooh, these look so lovely! You have to love bright pink pickles. :)

  • Reply
    August 5, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I’ve tried pickled onions twice now and been unimpressed. Yours look and sound great though and I much prefer that the onions aren’t cooked first! I’m trying these this week. Thanks, Sue.

  • Reply
    August 5, 2013 at 9:11 am

    wow, beautiful.. I have all these jars now and I need to fill them… onions are so simple but they look and no doubt taste spectacular… great recipe x

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